YEREVAN—The Global Militarization Index (GMI) 2013 shows that the Middle East continues to be the most highly militarized region in the world. Experts of BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion) point out that Asia, too, is demonstrating a particularly strong trend towards regional rearmament.
With Israel, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait, four countries in the Middle East are in the Top 10 of the GMI. This reflects the high level of militarization in this region, which is so rich in conflicts.
Yet, certain European countries such as Russia and Cyprus also continue to assert their positions in the TOP 10. Cyprus’s regular place in the top set is due primarily to the conflict between the island’s Greek and Turkish population groups, which has continued unresolved for decades. Whereas Azerbaijan has already ranked high in previous years, Armenia is a new entrant this year. (Since 2013, the data for Armenia also includes reservists, which is why the country now ranks considerably higher than in previous years.) The rapid build-up of military capacities in the Caucasus is accompanied by heated diplomatic rhetoric and the risk of rekindling the long-term military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Global Militarization Index (GMI) depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of one state in relation to its society as a whole. For this, the GMI records a number of indicators to represent the degree of militarization of a country:
• the comparison of military expenditures with its gross domestic product (GDP) and its health expenditure (as share of its GDP);
• the contrast between the total number of (para)military forces and the number of physicians and the overall population;
• the ratio of the number of heavy weapons available and the number of the overall population.
The GMI is based on data from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Institute for Strategic studies (IISS) and BICC. It shows the degrees of militarization of 153 states since 1990.
See the full rankings here.